Engagement – YES, It’s That Important!

We have been focusing a lot on engagement in the past couple weeks. I feel like this is a great lesson and it’s a question that comes up with our clients all the time.

Folks, your social media success does not rest solely on how many awesome people like your accounts! You can have a billion followers, but if no one is reading your posts or interacting with you – you have zero engagement. And what was the point of building that huge following? The best thing is to provide engaging content and see your numbers increase from there.

Engaging content is a term that is much easier said that implemented successfully. Here are some tips to help when you feel stuck!

  1. Give industry news to your audience they will find useful.
  2. Give them tips on how to succeed at something
  3. Give them a personal introduction and share a little information about who you are. Ask them to do the same
  4. Post encouraging and positive quotes. Positive posts get more shares and interaction than negative ones
  5. Fill-in-the-blank posts. Allow your audience to express their creativity!
  6. A photo or video of your office, desk or wherever you are working from
  7. Start a conversation. Give your personal take on an issue and ask your community their thoughts
  8. Uncommon ideas. This is an awesome way to show you are a thought leader in your industry
  9. Post photos of your family members or pets
  10. Post personal recommendations for your favorite products or services

These are just a few to help you get started. We also have some others in past blog posts, so feel free to check those out as well!

If you are struggling with creating engaging content and need some help, Social Media Maiden is here to help!

Engaging Your Audience

Engagement is where you need to be concentrating when it comes to your social media. You can have millions of followers, but if they aren’t paying attention to what you are saying and reacting, it only hurts your social media footprint. Focus on content that your followers will love and engage with and don’t worry so much about the number of followers you have on your platforms. Here are some fun ways to engage your audience!

Contests and sweepstakes are a great way to grow your audience
People LOVE to get free stuff! Throw up a fun contest or sweepstakes and watch your audience grow. Be sure to continue to do fun things to keep your new audience members engaged. Consistency is vital in online marketing!

Do a Caption-A-Photo contest
These are a lot of fun! If you run across a fun photo from your industry that would be perfect to be the next viral meme – post it on social media and ask for captions! You can even take it one step further and create the meme with the caption and tag the person who came up with it.

Make predictions about your industry. Prediction posts are always popular and will help you establish your reputation as an expert
Chances are you know your industry very well. Use that expertise to predict some changes that might be in works or things you think will happen. Even if your predictions don’t end up happening, it shows your audience that you are thinking long-term and that is very comforting to a consumer!

Post an audio clip
If you are still intimidated by video posts (which is perfectly acceptable!) you can always opt for an audio post. Give a little tidbit of information and let your customers hear your voice!

Talk about current events on your sites and ask your followers what their thoughts are about the issue
Talking about things that are currently going on in your industry is a terrific way to highlight yourself as an expert! It imparts knowledge that your clients need and it will show them how valuable of a resource you are.

Share your thoughts from a conference or event
Take advantage of the high you always feel after attending an amazing conference in your field and post a blog or a video about what you have learned and things that you think your audience would get excited about. You got into your industry for a reason and show your customers just how much passion you have for it!

Talk about common myths in your industry and explain them
The world is full of misconceptions and you are the perfect person to explain ones about your industry. Impart valuable knowledge to your followers!

If you need help setting up a plan to increase your engagement, Social Media Maiden is here to help! We offer consulting and management plan options that fit into any marketing budget.

How to Set Up a Cover Video on Facebook

Have you seen the new cover videos that pages can use on Facebook yet? We’ve watched several company’s roll theirs out and there is some very creative content out there!

If you would like to use a video for the cover on your brand’s Facebook page, here is how you do it!

Disclaimer: One thing to keep in mind as you are building your video is that just like a regular cover photo, these are open to the public and anyone can see them!

Step 1: Click on the Camera icon that shows up in the upper left-hand corner of your cover photo

Step 2: Select to either Upload Photo/Video or to Choose From Videos on your timeline

Step 3: If you Upload Photo/Video select content from your computer to upload. Videos should be at least 820 x 312 pixels and between 20 and 90 seconds. For best results, use a video that is 820 x 456 pixels!

Step 4: Once the video has been uploaded, you can position the video to make any aesthetic adjustments for optimal viewing.

Step 5: Now select up to 10 thumbnail options for your video. These are used when someone hovers their cursor over your page name to find out more about you.

Step 6: Select Publish and Enjoy!

What are your favorite brands that are using cover videos on their pages? Here is one our favorites!


Using Blog Posts to Make Video Content

Videos have become an extremely trendy way to get content to your audience. Your audience is more likely to tune in for a live video feed or to stop to watch a short video than they are to read a few paragraphs. There is so much information that gets relayed to us through our social media feeds that we’ve had to find more visual ways to reach our audiences. Video provides content for both your visual and audio learners to indulge in.

Coming up with content for your videos can seem like a daunting task – but it doesn’t have to be. If you are blogging, then you have your content! You can break down a blog into a small video series of a few minutes a piece and you have content for the rest of the week.

Have you used videos in your marketing plan? How do you interact with brands that effectively use video marketing? How do you interact with those that don’t?

Social Media Maiden would love to hear your feedback on how you use video marketing in your marketing plan. Let us know in the comments below!

Engagement Tips

Engaging with your audience has become harder in the last few years. There is so much competition and so many people are posting online. The question becomes, how do you stand out? The answer is to provide content that your audience is interested in. Here are a few tips to help you create original content for your business and give your audience tidbits that they may not know about you!

Post photo albums of events or parties, whether they be personal or professional. Tag individuals when you can.

Everyone loves looking through photos – especially if they are in them. If you have had a recent event and took photos, be sure to share those on social media and take a few extra moments to tag people. This will help the content show up on their profile which will give you access to a larger audience (which is a good thing for you!) and it is fun to scroll through photos and remember the event. It’s fun for everyone and photos are a fantastic way to get people to engage and comment on your content.

Share content posted by your audience. Let them know you are paying attention!

Many times, a consumer can feel like all companies talk about are themselves – and many times the message is the same – buy from me. If you can share content from your followers that is relevant to your audience, you have begun to establish a different type of relationship with your followers. Social media is just that – social – so share with your audience! Don’t always sell.

Post customer success stories and testimonials

The way people are finding businesses to work with is changing. Many times, someone will ask for a referral from their friends or in online community groups. Once they get the name of someone, they take to the web to find out more about you. They check your website, they check your social media, they look at your online reviews. These are all very crucial pieces to your marketing plan. When you have success stories and testimonials from numerous satisfied customers, it helps a potential customer begin to establish trust with you – and that’s before they even pick up the phone.

Post a summary of how you started your business

Everyone loves a good story! Show a more personal side of your business and share the story of how you started it. What need did you find that you had the resources to fill? What drives you to do what you do every day? What makes you get up in the morning? Why do/did you fight through the rough times of owning a business? And share what makes it all worth it. Those are the stories that inspire others. And they will help consumers love your brand even more than they already do.

Hold a Q & A session and allow your community to ask you questions

Conversing with followers on social media has become a popular way to get to know your audience. Live streaming or messaging is gaining momentum. Share with your audience that you will be live on Facebook or live tweeting answers to their questions at a certain time and have some fun with your followers!

Post a poll to find out opinions and ideas from your followers

Everyone loves to share their opinion. The internet has given a voice to those who may not share their opinions in other forums. Polls are a way to assess needs of your consumer, help you with product development, and gather ideas from the people who support your business.

Post one photo of yourself each day so your followers can get to know the real you

It doesn’t always have to be about you. It can be a highlight of an employee, a customer, or another individual who has a story to share and a link to your business. People do business with people and if they feel like they know the people behind the brand, they are more likely to purchase from you.

Ask for input on an issue or problem

Sometimes the solution to a problem or issue is so close in front of us that we can’t see it. Get to know your audience better by seeing what their solutions are. What ideas do they have that you may be able to include in your business practices or customer service? How can you better serve them with the information they provide?

Create audience-specific boards on Pinterest and encourage your followers to engage with you

Pinterest is one of the most addictive social media networks out there. Who doesn’t love a beautiful graphic with tips and tricks that we can use in our lives? Ask your followers questions in the description of your pins and ask for their opinions, feedback, etc.

Engagement is a tricky thing that can be overwhelming. If you need help figuring out how best to engage with your audience, give Social Media Maiden a call! We are the experts in helping you market your business online in ways that your audience will love.

The Essentials of an Effective Social Media Strategy

Having an effective social media strategy is an important part of your marketing strategy. Your online marketing should mirror your other marketing efforts and compliment them. Here are some tips to help you make sure your online marketing strategy is effective.

Identify Your Goals

Social Media Maiden always finds out what the current goals for the marketing are to help implement them into the online marketing strategy. You should have goals for each of your marketing avenues – whether that be print, online, or in-store. Your strategy should include goals that you can measure and are attainable in the timeframe you allocate.

Identify Your Marketing Objectives

What are you setting out to accomplish with your social media marketing? Are you focusing on brand awareness? Consumer trust? Hitting a sales goals for the month? Include those objectives in your marketing plan so that you can measure the effectiveness of your strategy. We recommend doing this monthly and adjusting things that weren’t successful for the next month.

Know Your Target Market

Your ideal customer and your target market are an important part of your marketing efforts. What social media networks do your customers participate in? Are they Facebook or Instagram users? Are you marketing to professionals only and is LinkedIn your most effective network? Think about your ideal consumer and tailor your marketing efforts to reach them.

Research Competition

Do you know what your competitors are doing online? Can you see what is working for them or do you see places where they can enhance their marketing strategy? Include these ideas in your marketing. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can take strategies that are effective and tailor them to your company.

Establish Your Monthly Budget

This is an important part of your marketing strategy. What do you have allocated to print marketing, social media and paid advertising? Are your ads getting the best bang for their buck? Keep an eye on these and adjust them as needed. If you see that an online ad isn’t getting the results you expect, adjust and implement a new ad. Keeping track of these marketing efforts and make sure that your dollars getting you the exposure your business needs.

Assign Roles

If you have a marketing team working on your accounts, be sure that everyone is clear of their roles and responsibilities. Each team member should be aware of the total goal and what their individual role is in accomplishing the plan.

If you need help implementing your marketing strategy, please give us a call to schedule a consultation. We can help you make sure that your dollars are working for you – not against you.

What is Personal Branding?

It’s no secret that people do business with those they know, like and trust. But what does that mean for your brand? Does it mean that people like your logo? Like your business name? Can they share a cup of coffee with your company name? Can they establish a friendship with your logo? No!

People do business with people.

While attending Social Media Day Denver this year, I heard a great discussion on how marketing is no longer business-to-business or business-to-consumer. We have entered a stage in marketing where we as humans are marketing to other humans. It’s personal now!

We are human beings with feelings, stories, experiences, needs, wants, desires, and motives. And we connect with each other on those levels. It’s about a consumer being able to sit down and share a cup of coffee with someone face-to-face. It’s about trusting your brand and your marketing to someone who you know will do the right thing for you. To know without a doubt that person will represent your company to your potential customers in a positive light and begin the trust relationship with them. To know that the relationship they begin online is done with your values in mind, so when you meet the potential customer there is consistency in what is presented.

This is where personal branding comes in. And it’s not just for your CEO! It’s for your employees as well. It’s for the contractors that you hire to represent your brand.

Personal branding is defined as the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization. Personal branding often involves the application of one’s name to various products. (source Wikipedia)

To make personal branding effective, the organization must define what values, image, and reputation is important to them. Then you hire people who match those criteria. Those employees are an extension of you and your company. Hiring should not be something you take lightly. Communication with the employees of the team is crucial to make sure everyone is on the same page, at all times. Whether your employees are the VP, a sales person who meets face-to-face with potential customers, or a customer service representative on the phone – they all must reflect the same thing. Consistency is the number one factor in establishing trust. Once a lack of consistency is in the mind of the consumer, they begin to doubt your brand.

Entrepreneur magazine has a great article about personal branding that you should check out! The link to the article can be found here.

Branding is not just about the colors you choose, the logo design, your state-of-the-art website, your awesome social media content with incredible engagement. There is also consumer trust.

Social Media Gaffe

At the end of the 2014 World Cup game between USA and Ghana Delta Airlines sent out a congratulatory tweet to the USA team using this image.

The problem with this tweet might not be so easy to spot right off the bat, but in this case a simple google search would have saved delta a whole lot of complicated backlash.

The problem is that Ghana doesn’t have giraffes.

Twitter users jumped all over this one, making fun of Delta, mercilessly. While not particularly harmful it sure made a lot of people question Delta’s smarts.

The simple solution? Take your time, do your research. An extra 2 minutes of thought won’t dampen your tweets impact. In fact, it might just help you avoid a gaffe–pun intended–like this one.

Tell us what you think of this social media fail by tweeting @socialmediamaiden using #socialmediafails

10 Ways to Engage Your Audience

Engaging your audience can be one of the hardest and most frustrating things about generating content for your online marketing and branding. Here are some tips that you can use for those moments when your frustration is at its highest and you need some ideas to work with.

  1. Ask your followers their largest need or what they need the most. You can give advice, support or even create a product to help with solve their problem.

As human beings, we all love to give our opinions. Asking questions about your industry and getting an idea of what frustrates them the most can help you figure out ways to get the best solution.

  1. Create partnerships with other companies and promote each other with your followers, giving both the company and your followers the opportunity to connect with each other.

Do you have your power partners in place? Are you part of a leads group where you support each other online? These are all things you can do to help your message reach to an untapped audience and allows your audience to get to know another business that can help them. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

  1. Is there something on your mind? Share it with your followers (but keep it professional) and encourage your audience to share their thoughts as well.

What are your thoughts about things going on in your industry? With social media, it is ever-changing so it’s easy to find topics to have opinions on.

  1. Give business tips that help your audience in one way or another.

What are some golden nuggets of information you can easily share with your audience? Drop them into a graphic to enhance engagement and voila!

  1. Are you funny? Share that with your followers and give them a chuckle.

The best content online is the content that makes people laugh. Not only is it memorable, but they are more likely to talk about it with their friends. Channel your humor and spread some joy in the world!

  1. Inspiration is one of the most shared types of content on social media. Share a little today!

Who doesn’t love a great inspirational or motivational quote? Chances are someone in your industry has some of these nuggets that you can share.

  1. Ask questions! Even random ones that don’t have anything to do with your audience, such as, “What is your favorite recipe with bacon in it? Share below!”

Asking questions is so important on social media. Even if it has nothing to do with your industry. Show your audience that you have more to talk about than just your products and services.

  1. Promote offers and deals. Users of social media love following a brand that gives them a little something back.

Who doesn’t love a great discount? Reward your followers with exclusive coupons only available for your fans.

  1. Post behind-the-scenes photos of your life or business. Give them a glimpse of who you are.

Is there a birthday in the office today? Are you celebrating a milestone? Do you have a new product you are developing that you can sneak-peak? These are all moments in your business life that your followers want to know. Social media is about establishing relationships with your consumers and this is an excellent way to accomplish that.

  1. Give your opinions on topics. People like to know they are connecting with a real person behind the page.

Opinions can be risky for business – especially when they are strong ones. Anymore with all the controversy going on in our world, it’s easy to take a stand for or against something. Decide how your business is going to handle current events and if this is a strategy that might work for you.

What other engagement ideas do you implement in your business? Have you found something that works well for your business? Share your ideas below and let’s have a discussion!

New iOS 11.0 Feature: Screen Recording

Apple released the newest software update (iOS 11.0) on September 19th. Among the numerous updates and new features, one has stood out. Screen Recording allows you to video what is happening on your screen. This is super helpful for creating tutorials, or just for showing the world what you are up to. Read below and/or watch the following video to see how to set this feature up to use on your compatible Apple device.

First, go into “Settings”, and scroll down to “Control Center”

Then click on “Customize Controls”

You will then see the “Customize” page. From there, scroll down to “Screen Recording”

Click the green plus next to it. It will then appear in the “Include” list. You can hold down on the three horizontal lines on the left side of the “Screen Recording” control and reorder it in the list.

Then press your “Home” button. Once on your home page, swipe up from the bottom screen to find the “Control Center”. At the bottom of this screen, you will see a square-ish button with one circle inside of another circle. Hold down on this button.

You will then see the options: “Start Recording” and “Microphone Audio”

From here you can start a recording, or turn on or off the microphone recording.

The microphone audio option allows you to choose whether noises will be recorded along with your video recording.

After you click “Start Recording”, you will get a 3 second count down until it starts recording your screen.

While it is recording, you will see a red bar across the top of your screen which is just there to show you that you are recording.

To end a recording, click on the red bar at the top of you screen.

To watch all of this being done, watch this short video.

Have fun with this new feature!